Local News

Real School Record Breaker Emerges

(New Buffalo, MI) - Roger Lijewski remains the all-time king in the pole vault at New Buffalo High School after breaking the school record in 1975.


The school mistakenly announced during an April 26th home track meet that Jack Lantz was the new school record holder after he cleared the stick in the pole vault at 11’ 6”.


Lijewski opened one of his scrap books containing newspaper articles and pictures about his many achievements as a three-sport star athlete for the Bison. He did so after his youngest son, Payton, a member of the track team, informed him about the announcement when he returned home after the competition. 


Lijewski saw the clipping about his school pole vaulting record established when he cleared the stick at 12’ 4” as a sophomore and had it shown to New Buffalo High School Athletic Director Matt Johnson.


Johnson said the mistake was from not having complete records dating back that far in the pole vault.


He said pole vaulting was no longer offered as a sport at some point after Lijewski graduated in 1978 and returned to the program roughly 10 to 15 years ago. 


He said history will be corrected to reflect Lijewski’s record jump unless someone else who went higher on the stick has proof to verify it.


“It was an honest mistake,” Johnson said. 


In the meantime, Johnson said an effort is already underway to fill as many gaps in the record books as much as possible in all athletics.


“There’s a couple of sports where we’re trying to piece together some of the missing data,” he said.


Lijewski, a former member of the school board and current member of the city council, might be able to help the most in the history gathering. 


He was given a number of record books for sports when the old high school on Whittaker Street closed about 20-years ago.


Lijewski said he plans to turn those over to Johnson as soon as possible.


He said he feels for Lantz and the emotional letdown he must have experienced when told about the mistake.


However, Lijewski said he hopes Lantz does break his record before he graduates next year and feels he has a chance if he keeps practicing. 


Lijewski said he was a pole vaulter every year in high school and he never topped 12 feet again. He said his next highest jump was just two or three inches above the height Lantz achieved recently.


The longtime owner of Roger’s Wrecker Service in New Buffalo was also the school record holder with more than 2,000 career rushing yards in football until his son, Adam, exceeded the mark in 2002. 


“You like to see your sons knock you off the top of the list and there’s more Lijewski’s coming up.  That’s the great thing,” he said.

Weather Center

High School Scoreboard

Sports Scores